CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kobe Bryant shrugged off a scoreless first half to finish with 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and the Los Angeles Lakers overcome a 20-point second-half deficit to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 100-93 Friday night.
The Lakers avoided a costly defeat to the NBA's worst team and pulled within three games of .500.
Bryant attempted only two shots in the first half and didn't bother coming out for warmups to start the second half.
But he provided the jolt the Lakers needed in the third quarter and scored 14 points in the final period, including a driving layup with 40 seconds left to push the lead to five.
Steve Nash and Earl Clark each had 17 points and Dwight Howard had 12 points, all in the first half, and 11 rebounds for the Lakers (24-27).
Byron Mullens and Gerald Henderson each had 20 points for the Bobcats, who have lost six straight.